Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Nov 25: thanksgiving party-for-two

The taste of roasted turkey lingered in our palate, until we got home the day after Thanksgiving. Talking about how delicious it was, sent our taste buds into overdrive. So, we decided to go to the market on Saturday and bought 14 lbs. of turkey, ingredients for: stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy.

Pangga and I were so excited to roast our very own, first-ever turkey! Came Sunday morning, we woke up earlier than usual. We had fun patting the bird with our favorite spices. (Check out the recipe in my Blog Archive) By 9:30 a.m., the turkey was already roasting in the oven! Around 12:45, Pangga made the stuffing and I prepared mashed potatoes and gravy.

Started our "thanksgiving party-for-two" at 1:30 p.m. It was a fabulous meal. The turkey turned out so well, moist and juicy! Not bad for first-timers! We are SO proud of ourselves. Great teamwork!

And to top it all, Chicago Bears, SF 49ers and Oakland Raiders won! Woohoo! Good food, engaging football and great company = BLISS!

Looking forward to our leftover turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy and stuffing. YUM!

Recipe: Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving Turkey
(in oven cooking bag)

This is not a traditional way of cooking thanksgiving turkey. My Pangga and I decided to use herbs that we both liked. We used a large heat tempered plastic cooking bag especially designed for oven temperatures. Bags can be bought in the paper goods section of most grocery stores. The instructions for use are printed on the box. The turkey is steamed and won’t brown as much compared to a turkey roasted out in the open. But it will retain most of the bird’s moisture and come out juicier (in my opinion).


1 (12 to 14 pound) turkey , thawed
salt or garlic salt
½ tbsp. black pepper, ground
1 medium onion, quartered
5 stalks spring onion or scallions
2 tbsp. of chopped garlic
½ tbsp. herbs: thyme, sage, dill weed
2 tbsp. chives and capers
2 tbsp. olive or vegetable oil

a.Preheat the oven to 350°F.

b.Rinse the outside and cavity of the bird under cold, running water. Remove turkey parts from neck and breast cavity and reserve for other uses, if desired.

c.Dry bird well, with paper towels.

d.Prepare oven-cooking bag. To prevent bursting, a tablespoon of dry flour is shaken around to coat the empty bag.

e.Mix all spices and herbs: salt, black pepper, chopped garlic, thyme, sage, dill weed. Add the olive oil.

f.Rub the whole bird with the mixture, also inside breast cavity.

g.Stuff breast cavity with scallions, quartered onion, chives and capers. Add 2 bay leaves and lemon grass if desired.

h.Put turkey inside bag and close with nylon tie. Tuck ends of bag in pan.

i.Cut six ½ inch slits in the bag to allow steam to escape.

j.The pan holding the turkey in the bag must be large enough so the bag does not hang over the sides. Allow ample space for the bag to expand during cooking.

k.Roast until meat thermometer reads 180°F and juices run clear. It is inserted into one of the inner thigh areas near the breast, making certain the tip of the thermometer is not touching bone.

l.Approximate roasting times:

12 to 16 pounds 2 ½ to 3 hours
16 to 20 pounds 3 to 3 ½ hours
20 to 24 pounds 3 ½ to 4 hours

m.Add 1/2 hour for stuffed turkey.

n.Remove turkey from the oven and set aside for 15 minutes before carving.

o.If turkey sticks to bag, gently loosen bag from turkey before opening oven bag.

Recipe: Stuffing and Mashed Potatoes


Prepare a stuffing according to preference. We didn't put traditional stuffing in our turkey and made it separately. Cranberry isn’t on top of our list (sorry folks), so we didn’t buy any. We just bought herb seasoned- cube stuffing, from the store. The amount of margarine or butter and liquid to be used, is printed on the box. It was fast and easy to make.

My Pangga used the following ingredients:

½ stick butter
½ tbsp. chopped garlic
1 medium onion, diced
a small can of mushroom
4 pieces marinated artichoke
¼ green bell pepper, diced
½ tsp. black pepper , ground
sprinkle of herbs: thyme, sage, dill weed

a.Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Toss in the chopped garlic and onion. Sauté until slightly brown.

b.Add the mushroom, artichoke and green bell pepper. You can mix in more vegetables and sausage, if desired.

c.Sprinkle with cooking sherry. This enhances the flavor.

d.Stir in cube stuffing and liquid (broth, vegetable juice, wine, water) gradually.

e.For 9-12 lbs. turkey: use 8 cups of cube stuffing, mix ½ cup butter and 1 ¼ cups liquid.

f.Sprinkle with herbs and black pepper.

g.Cover and let stand over very low heat for five minutes.

Voila! Tasty stuffing!

Mashed Potatoes

I prepared the mashed potatoes and used the ingredients below:

3 large- sized potatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tbsp. sour cream
2 tbsp. butter
5 tbsp. low fat milk
½ tbsp. white pepper, powder
1 tbsp. of chopped garlic
¼ tbsp. dill weed
1 tbsp. chives

a.Place potatoes in a separate pan or wrap with aluminum foil. Bake for one hour in the same oven where turkey is roasting.

b.Remove from oven after an hour, then put potatoes in a pot over low heat.

c.Start mashing potatoes. Add sour cream and melted butter.

d.Use a strong spoon to beat further, adding milk to achieve the consistency you desire.

e.Mix with the remaining ingredients.

Heavenly mashed potatoes!


We just bought (2) turkey gravy mix and added half a cup of mushrooms. Yummy and fast!

Turkey giblets

Asians like dishes that may be viewed as weird by the Westerners. Fish heads, chicken giblets, pork and beef liver or intestines, to name a few. Sautéed chicken liver with onions and cooked as adobo, is easily one of my favorite dishes.

When we bought the turkey, it came with the giblets (heart, gizzard, and liver). I was so excited to try my first-ever turkey giblets. I seasoned it first with garlic salt and black pepper and fried it. I mixed soy sauce, vinegar and garlic for my dip. MMMmm SO tasty.

...fried turkey giblets and coffee with peppermint mocha creamer.

My Pangga didn’t like liver, but was brave to take a bite. He didn’t care for the liver, as evidenced by the photo below.( Hehehe)

He had two bites of fried gizzard and said it wasn’t too bad.

As for me, Well…..

Monday, November 26, 2007


Nov 22

We had Thanksgiving with our friends, Jonnie, Katie and their family, in Fremont. It was my first Thanksgiving turkey and pumpkin pie and finally experienced one of America's tradition. My Pangga and I stuffed ourselves silly and were happy for it. MMMMmmm. Great cooking from mother Thornberry.

...first Thanksgiving turkey

...dinner table beckoning ; with our friend, Jonnie

I brought Filipino cooking with me, one of my Pangga's fave: lumpia. I was hesitant at first but Pangga said they would love it as much as he does. ( Blush). To my surprise, he wasn't wrong! Katie, her sister Tessa and their mom loved it so much, my lumpia was a sellout before dinnertime. Wow! So, I promised next time to bring more and teach them how to make it.

We spent the night in Fremont and watched movies when we went back to Jonnie and Katie's home. Katie and I woke up at 6 in the morning to check out "Black Friday". I thought it was part of the holy week, hehehe. I was confused since Lent has already passed. Katie told me that the day after Thanksgiving is called "Black Friday", where almost everything's on sale (up to 50% off). It was called that because stores open as early as 4 in the morning.

Whoa! She wasn't kidding. When we got there at 6:15 in the morning, some were already done shopping! I didn't buy anything though, but I'm sure to do it next year.

After shopping, we went back to mother Thornberry's house to have breakfast. The turkey leftover on hot turkey soup was Delicioso! Yum!

...Jonnie and Katie with new golden retriever "Curtis"; Katie and her sister, Tessa

We had an awesome Thanksgiving!

Ah, Love!


gave me again
luscious chocolate;
will unwrap it soon,
can’t hardly wait.
come, let us share
its creamy delight;
mocha or mint bliss,
pleasurable in every bite.
I’m so excited
to sink my teeth,
into its richness –
Thank you, my sweet!


...with a beautiful bouquet of flowers too!

With our "baby rabbit" Celeste.


Nov 2

Did my first temp. work at TTS, where my Pangga also works. Covered for Doris, 2 days. It was fun working with Eric at the same company. First job in California!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Mama's birthday!


Called Mama on her birthday.